Olympian's Mother Killed By Stray Bullet While Sewing In Home

Tom Wood

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Olympian's Mother Killed By Stray Bullet While Sewing In Home

Featured Image Credit: Instagram/NBC News

The mother of an Olympian has been killed by a stray bullet while sitting in her house, according to her daughter and local police.

56-year-old Mabel Martinez was reportedly sitting in her house in Connecticut, USA, doing some sewing when she was hit in the head by the bullet.

She was not the intended target of the shot, police have confirmed.

So far, no arrests have been made, but a man outside the house was shot in the leg and is believed to have been the intended victim of the shooting.

Martinez died in hospital on Sunday (17 April).

Yarimar Mercado Martinez. Credit: Alamy
Yarimar Mercado Martinez. Credit: Alamy

The woman was the mother of Puerto Rican rifle shooter and Olympic competitor Yarimar Mercado Martinez, who shared an emotional post on Instagram expressing her sorrow at the tragic death of her mother.

In Spanish, she wrote: "Why you? Why this way? You were just sitting in your little house sewing, as you always did.”

The 27-year-old went on to mention all of the future dates that her mother will miss, including her marriage, sewing clothes for her grandchildren, and a wedding vow renewal with her husband in Puerto Rico.

Mercado Martinez went on to say that she’d give anything to swap places with her mother.

"There are so many things I still needed to learn from you ... I was so far away without being able to do anything, I couldn’t even say goodbye to you," she said.

“I apologise to Puerto Rico because even if I wanted to, I really can’t compete, my place is with my family,” the 2016 and 2020 Olympian wrote.

Yarimar with her mother. Credit: Instagram
Yarimar with her mother. Credit: Instagram

Mercado Martinez left Brazil on Sunday headed for Connecticut, according to the president of the Puerto Rico Shooting Association, Gilberto Hernandez.

Hernandez also confirmed that the association would be helping to pay for some of the funeral costs.

He told the Associated Press: “We trust that she will overcome this. She can count on us. ... The doors of the association are always open.”

Waterbury Police Chief Fernando Spagnolo said that the incident had nothing to do with Martinez, and confirmed that the police believe it to be drug related.

He said: “This was definitely a random, tragic act of violence.

“She was in her house. She’s not the intended target.”

Yarimar has competed at two Olympic Games.
Yarimar has competed at two Olympic Games.

He went on to say that Martinez’s husband is also distraught at his wife’s death.

In her post, Mercado Martinez went on to say that people should learn to shoot properly if they are to own firearms.

She said: "Please, if you are going to use weapons, shoot a paper card and learn about its use and handling.”

If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677 

Topics: News, US News, Sport, Olympics

Tom Wood
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